The holidays are one of the most joyous times of the year thanks to QT with family and friends and seasonal fare (spiced chai cocktail, anyone?).
But all that fun can come hand-in-hand with unavoidable travel stress. Getting from point A to point B while overcoming scenarios that are simply out of your control (flight delays, long security lines, snow storms, traffic jams, you name it) can bring up feelings of helplessness, anxiety, and just plain old frustration. It’s enough to make you throw up your hands in a TSA line and think: WWWPD (what would wellness pros do?)
Luckily, I got a chance to ask a few fitness trainers, yoga teachers, and meditation gurus just that last weekend at the Amelia Island Wellness Festival. Here’s their advice for how to have the most stress-free holiday travel season of your life.
Read on to hear *exactly* how yogis, meditation teachers, and fitness boss babes deal with the stress of holiday travel.
Combat craziness with compassion
“Instead of being threatened and destabilized by other peoples’ energy, neuroses, or craziness, I actually view them from a place of compassion and friendliness,” says David Perrin, executive director of education at MNDFL, the buzzy, next-gen meditation studio in New York City. “I say to myself: Of course they’re anxious, frightened, and in a rush—we’re all traveling. It’s stressful!” And if that doesn’t work? “I like to imagine I’m a character in a movie. As I look around me and watch everything unfolding, I pretend it’s all part of a story.”
Try relaxing yoga moves
“If I have a long layover or get to the airport early, I like to do a few headstands and handstands while waiting around,” says, rockstar yogi Laura Kasperzak, founder of Laura Sykora Yoga. “Getting inverted is my favorite way to meditate because it gets me focused and relieves any anxieties I have associated with traveling.” (Putting your legs up the wall for a few minutes á la Elle Macpherson is a more low-key way to reap the same relaxing effects, FYI.)
Recharge your mind with a quick music meditation
“I like to meditate to music,” says DanceBody founder Katia Pryce. “Music is so powerful for me. I call it zero’ing out. Think of it like your phone battery—when it’s low, you need to charge it. So, while I meditate I think of my breath as recharging my battery. I put on my music and allow myself to get into a transcendental state, while I try not to think of anything and just focus on my breath. It makes me feel like I took an hour nap.”
Keep calm and carry on essential oils
“On a plane I use essential oil [blends],” reveals Nicholas Giacomini, AKA MC Yogi, author of Spiritual Graffiti. “I rub just a few drops on my hands and then breath in for 15 seconds with my hands cupped over my nose to create a protective shield against germs. Noise cancelling headphones and a good audiobook can also really help to stay relaxed on long travel days.”